After a stressful 2020 where we all allowed ourselves a little leeway when it came to our fitness, beauty, and health and wellness, 2021 has seen a rise in wellbeing trends to help us get ourselves back together for the "new normal."
Although our last year of nothingness may have been a welcome change for many, and a chance to relax and reset from our face-paced modern lives, for others, it's been a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety as we fear for our friends, families, jobs, and even lives. So many of us have been stuck indoors for months, and the loneliness and sadness many of us have been feeling can easily be translated into depression.
But all is not lost.
2021 is a chance for us to pull ourselves together and take what we've learned from isolation and pandemics to take a more mindful and renewed approach to wellness. Here are some of the top health and wellness trends of this year to help you kickstart a new, healthier, happier lifestyle in lockdown and beyond.
1. Mindful Eating
Mindfulness has been a buzzword for a few years now, and almost anyone who's attempted to incorporate a bit of mindfulness into their lives is constantly raving about the benefits and calm this lifestyle achieves.
The idea behind it is to take your time while eating. Savour the flavours on your tongue, smell the aroma, and notice your dish's colours and appearance.
Slowing down and being more aware of your eating is a great way to avoid 'shovelling' and overeating, which is closely linked to weight gain (and let's be honest, most of us can benefit from shifting some "lockdown pounds").
2. Simplified Skincare
During lockdown, many of us have had more time to focus on our skincare and beauty regimes; experimenting with multiple skincare products in an attempt to make ourselves feel a little better and special. But after the initial craze, 2021 is seeing a more simplified approach to at-home skincare.
If you've noticed an increase in spots and other blemishes during lockdown, you're not alone! Many of us have reported problem skin over the past year, and chances are, it's linked to using too much product.
The overuse of beauty products can be too much for our skin to handle, leading to damaged moisture barriers and other issues. Yup, I was confused too.
Simplified skincare has another benefit: it's cheaper! After all the job uncertainty of 2020, a step towards more affordable and easy skincare is welcome, and it may benefit your skin more than you'd think!
3. Online Fitness Classes
Gym nuts may have spent 2020 longing for gyms to reopen so they can get back to their beloved weights, but the last year has emphasised the importance of physical fitness to even the biggest couch potatoes among us. Isn't it funny how we never want it until it's gone?
But even as gyms reopen, the online fitness trends are unlikely to be going anywhere soon.
Not only is it quick and easy to work out in your lounge, but online classes (live streams or pre-recorded) offer a more accessible way to get fit in a way that suits your schedule with everything from 5-minute fitness routines to hour-long guided exercises.
In addition, online classes make a nice change for those of us who don't feel comfortable working out in a gym due to intimidation or low self-confidence.
So, getting fit in our own home offers a far easier, and more private, solution with considerably more options than might be available in your local area.
4. Digital Detoxes
Although the internet has saved us in many ways during the last year – from virtual get-togethers to online exercise to streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ alleviating some of our boredom – 2021 is seeing a rise in people appreciating the benefit of switching off.
Whether you turn your devices off for a few hours, a day, a weekend, or a week, taking some time away from the pressures of social media and giving your eyes a break from those harsh blue lights is fantastic for our mental health. We expect to see increasing numbers of "digital detoxes" in 2021 and beyond.
5. Flexible, Mini-goal Setting
Human beings are creatures of habit, and 2020 has wreaked havoc on our everyday routines. Enter flexible goals.
This top wellness trend is focused on setting yourself small, achievable goals daily.
Rather than your usual New Year resolutions (that almost always get forgotten by February), these flexible goals allow you to regain control of your days and provide a sense of achievement vital for your mental health.
These goals could be anything from weight management (as opposed to hitting a target weight) to eating your five portions of fruit and veg to exercising for 20 minutes.
Whatever it is, make it achievable and schedule it in. You'll be amazed at what a tiny achievement does for your overall sense of wellbeing.
(MORE: Journaling Ideas)6. Back to Nature
In addition to a focus on fitness in 2021, many wellness experts emphasise the importance of fresh air and nature for our physical and emotional wellbeing.
Walk-and-talk therapies are on the rise, and we expect that even when indoor activities reopen, people will still choose to stay outdoors wherever possible.
Not only is the fresh air brilliant for our physical health, but numerous studies have demonstrated how spending time in nature can dramatically improve mental health conditions, including relieving some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
And as we've all been cooped up indoors for so long, we expect spending time in the great outdoors to be a wellbeing trend that's not going anywhere soon!
7. Touch-free Spas
If you've been dreaming of a luxury spa getaway but don't like the idea of being touched (whether for Covid-related fears or just because you prefer to avoid strangers touching you), then you'll be thrilled to hear that 2021 could see the rise of the touch-free spa!
These hands-free wellness centres will include things like isolation pods, floating tanks, and aromatherapy – which would be touch-free anyway – in addition to innovative new technologies that will enable you to enjoy a bit of pampering without anyone laying a finger on you.
Amazingly, these spas can imitate a full therapy spa experience, including hands-free electronic massage beds, hot oil treatments, IV drips, cryotherapy, salt caves, infrared saunas, and much more.
Why not try a Lava Shell Therma Bliss Massage - it incorporates beautiful heated shells, rather than hands, to help aches and strains disappear in a wonderfully relaxing treatment.
8. Hot and Cold Therapy
Along with touch-free spas, cold therapy treatments are expected to become far more popular in 2021, thanks to the rise in cold exposure therapy research.
This wellness trend has been embraced by multiple experts, including biohackers, performance coaches, and recovery specialists.
What's interesting is that a full ice plunge doesn't seem to be necessary. A cold shower or exposure to cold weather (easy for many of us living outside the sunny shores of Florida) can offer a wide array of benefits to our physical and mental health.
As cold therapy is discussed, the benefits of heat therapy will undoubtedly play a role. Our self-heating eye masks are an excellent way to relax and warm up after a cold plunge or shower and will be sure to have you feeling like your best self in no time.
9. "Radical" Self-care
The University of Indiana was one of the first places to define radical self-care, and states this is "the assertion that you have the responsibility to take care of yourself first before attempting to take care of others." It's a bit like that well-cottoned aeroplane command – "put on your own oxygen mask first" – that we've heard so much about lately.
This idea of self-care being self-less has been growing in popularity lately, with many idioms featuring variations of the ideals being toted around. And we expect the logic of not being able to "fill from an empty cup" will only continue to grow as more and more people realise its truth.
But radical self-care will go beyond putting yourself first to be at your best for others. It can also be used as a kind of preventative care routine to ensure you're at your happiest and healthiest best before you get sick or emotionally exhausted.
This includes things like eating healthier, exercising regularly, maybe speaking with a therapist, and taking time out to practice self-care before burnout strikes.
We may also spot a rise in more organised spiritual practices this year, including increased religion, meditation, manifestation, and more.
(MORE: Self-care Ideas)
10. Sleep Well
Do you often ask yourself - why am I so tired? So many people haven't been getting a good night's sleep, during the pandemic or even before! But all this time at home has really given us the chance to reassess our days (and nights) to spot where we might be going wrong.
At this point, many of us understand how vital sleep is for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. And we expect the rise in sleep-aid technology and theories to increase and remain at the forefront of wellbeing trends for 2021 and beyond.
In case you missed the memo, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This isn't just a chance to rest your eyes and body, but actually enables your brain to complete numerous essential tasks and keeps you feeling healthy, stable, and functional.
Some of the overnight tasks that are only accomplished during sleep include transporting short-term to long-term memory, processing emotions and the day's events, and rebuilding muscles after exercise to give you the pecks, abs, and biceps you've been working so hard for!
We love the range of sleep aids available now, and our Sleep Retreat Teat Box is the perfect addition to any good night routine. This box incorporates sleep-inducing aromatherapy with our wonderful self-heating eye masks for a truly relaxing experience that's sure to help you drift off.
(MORE: Sleep Better With A Luna Eyes Self-Heating Eye Mask)